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9 - Frame and Framed in Theocritus Poems 6 and 7 (1996)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2023

Ewen Bowie
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

This chapter discusses two Theocritean poems. In Idyll 7 it proposes that the change from the unqualified name Amyntas at line 2 to ὁ καλὸς Ἀμύντιχος ‘the lovely dear Amyntas’ at line 132 signals a development in the narrator’s feelings for Amyntas from friendship to sexual desire. Concerning Idyll 6, it suggests that the roles assumed by the cowherds Daphnis and Damoetas in their quasi-competitive songs – that of praeceptor amoris to Polyphemus and that of Polyphemus replying – are used by them to reveal to each other their mutual desire, brought out into the open by their kiss (line 42) and by the ensuing miniature fête champêtre. It notes too that the poem’s address to Aratus leaves it open to him to interpret its exploration of hitherto unconfessed desire as bearing on his own relationship with the poet.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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